Family members and friends have identified the 17-year-old from Summerfield who was killed in a crash Wednesday night as Belleview High School student Landon Yerk.
Many of them – obviously in shock – took to Facebook on Thursday to remember the baseball-loving teenager who was killed on his brother Colton’s birthday on a two-lane stretch of U.S. 301 at 144 Place Road near the U.S. Post Office.
“I can’t even put into words the emotions my family and I are feeling but wanted to share what an awesome person and friend Landon Yerk was,” Jen Lee Sweeting wrote on her Facebook page Thursday. “He always had us laughing and clownin. You could always count on him for whatever you needed. You will be missed so much by so many.”
Laine Russell posted of photo of Yerk at an early age with his dog and offered her love and prayers for his family.
“God took a good one,” she wrote. “Landon Yerk you were the goofiest, funniest, always having a good time kid growing up and you were my favorite right from the start. You’ve touched so many lives and will be so greatly missed.”
Robin Arrasmith Harper agreed.
“I will hold on to all my great baseball memories of you,” she wrote. “Rest easy little man.”
Eric Martinez said the news broke his heart.
“The Yerks have been part of our baseball family since the very beginning,” he wrote. “I am at a loss for words.”
Suzanne Sweeting said it was “unreal” how many lives Yerk had touched.
“What a great kid!” she wrote. “We will always love you Landon.”
Danielle Quartararo-McLaughlin described Yerk as a “selfless, caring, passionate, thick-headed, strong-minded, funny, loving, honest, harmless, jokester.” She said he had watched him grow from a young ball player into a young man.
“You, my friend, my son, have left us way to early but you will never be forgotten,” Quartararo-McLaughlin wrote.
The FHP report, which didn’t identify Yerk nor his passenger because of a policy that recently was put into place, said the pickup had been traveling at a high rate of speed when the driver failed to negotiate a turn, overcorrected and lost control of the vehicle. The truck then traveled back across the roadway and overturned several times, causing the driver and passenger to be ejected, the report said, adding that neither of the teens had been wearing seatbelts.
Yerk was pronounced dead at the scene by Marion County Fire Rescue. The passenger suffered minor injuries and was transported to Ocala Regional Medical Center.